Posted on: November 25, 2023

MSHA First Aid and CPR: Essential Skills for Safe Mining Operations

MSHA First Aid and CPR: Essential Skills for Safe Mining Operations

Everyone knows that mining is dangerous work. In addition to the inherent dangers of mine work, emergency medical treatment is complicated by the fact that mines are often located in remote areas. In these types of environments, having a trained workforce equipped with first aid and CPR skills isn’t just an advantage; it’s a necessity.

This is one of the many reasons why the Mining Safety and Health Association (MSHA) requires first aid and CPR training for miners. In this article, we’ll go over what this type of training entails and why it’s so important.

What Are MSHA's First Aid/CPR Training Requirements?

First aid and CPR are included in mandatory New Miner Training, so every miner is exposed to these topics. However, MSHA recognizes that such first aid training does not, by itself, guarantee success in the real world.

So in addition, MSHA's regulations require mine operators to ensure that any time the mine is operating:

  • A competent person is on-site and designated to take charge in case of emergency,
  • Someone capable of providing first aid is available on all shifts,
  • First aid and CPR training are provided to selected supervisory employees (with certification kept on file),
  • First aid and CPR training are made available to all interested miners,
  • An adequate supply of first aid equipment is available in strategic locations,
  • Advanced plans are in place for obtaining emergency medical assistance and transporting injured persons, and
  • Emergency communications are available to the nearest point of assistance.

The full MSHA standards get more specific, of course.

For example, there are specific first aid supplies required at specific locations. Mandatory supplies include stretchers, blankets, water, and neutralizing agents for any harmful substances on site.

What Should MSHA First Aid & CPR Training Cover?

These days, first aid training typically covers procedures like cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) and the use of Automated External Defibrillators (AEDs).

MSHA standards also specify that first aid training and skills should include:

  • Patient assessment,
  • Artificial respiration,
  • Controlling bleeding, and
  • Treating shock, wounds, burns, and musculoskeletal injuries.

These are minimums – most MSHA first aid courses cover first aid treatment for other likely situations, as well.

Why is First Aid Training Important?

As we mentioned earlier, mine workers are exposed to some of the highest rates of occupational injury and death in the country.

It's important for mine operators to ensure they're ready to provide first aid for these incidents because faster responses save lives and reduce the severity of injury or illness. Mines are often located in remote areas, but even when professional medical services are relatively nearby, every minute counts. The common advice is that life-threatening injuries require trained personnel within four minutes, and serious injuries require attention within fifteen.

Skilled first aid not only reduces the likelihood of death and prevents the situation from becoming worse, but it also improves the chance of recovery, mitigates the severity of the outcome, and reduces the time for rehabilitation.

First aid training also helps people on the ground provide useful information to emergency services.

Where Do You Get MSHA-Approved First Aid Training?

As an MSHA-approved online training provider, we offer online and mobile-friendly courses in First Aid and CPR. Online training allows you to study at your own pace, wherever and whenever you have the time.

Enroll today!